Crispy Southern Fried Chicken with Rich Gravy Recipe

Southern cuisine is all about comfort and flavor, and there’s no dish that embodies those qualities more than a perfectly prepared southern fried chicken and gravy. This classic dish has been a staple of Southern kitchens for generations, and it’s easy to see why. Crispy, golden-brown chicken, coated in a seasoned flour mixture, served alongside thick, creamy country gravy – what’s not to love?

As a chef specializing in Southern-style cuisine, I understand the importance of getting every element of this dish just right. From the perfectly seasoned chicken to the rich, flavorful gravy, every bite should be packed with deliciousness. That’s why I’ve developed this recipe for the ultimate Southern fried chicken and gravy – one that’s sure to satisfy even the most discerning of taste buds.

Whether you’re looking for a hearty family meal or want to impress your dinner guests with some classic Southern cooking, this recipe is the perfect place to start. So grab your apron and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Fried Chicken and Gravy
Southern Fried Chicken and Gravy

As a chef specializing in Southern-style cuisine, I know that there’s nothing quite like biting into a perfectly crispy and juicy piece of southern fried chicken. That’s why I’m excited to share this delicious recipe with you!

This recipe is not just your average fried chicken recipe, but it’s the epitome of flavorful Southern cooking. The combination of salty and peppery flavors in the seasoned flour coating makes each bite full of savory goodness. The secret to achieving that perfect crispy crunch on the outside is by using a mix of flour and spices, which creates the ultimate crunch-to-moisture ratio.

And let’s not forget about the creamy country gravy that pairs so well with southern fried chicken. In this recipe, I’ll be showing you how to make a drool-worthy gravy from scratch using pan drippings that are left after frying the chicken.

To take it up another notch, you can double-dip the chicken in the seasoned flour before frying to achieve an extra crunchy exterior. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try adding some hot sauce or cayenne pepper to the seasoning mixture for a spicy kick!

Trust me, with this recipe, you’ll have everyone coming back for seconds (or thirds!). So why settle for boring fried chicken when you can enjoy a piece of crunchy, juicy southern fried chicken smothered in heavenly gravy?

Ingredient List

 Golden brown and crispy, this Southern fried chicken is a crowd-pleaser.
Golden brown and crispy, this Southern fried chicken is a crowd-pleaser.

Here are the key ingredients you’ll need to make Southern Fried Chicken and Gravy:

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

For the gravy:

  • 2 tablespoons of shortening or pan drippings
  • 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of milk or chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste

As you may notice, this recipe is straightforward and uses readily available pantry staples. The chicken is coated with seasoned flour and then deep-fried until crispy, while the gravy is made directly in the pan using the drippings. It’s a classic southern recipe that everyone should try at least once.

The Recipe How-To

 The secret to perfect gravy: drippings from the fried chicken.
The secret to perfect gravy: drippings from the fried chicken.

Now that you have all the ingredients ready, it’s time to get started with the main course! In this section, I will guide you step-by-step through making Southern Fried Chicken and Gravy.

Step 1: Prep the Chicken

First thing’s first: we need to prepare our chicken. Take 2 lbs. of chicken cutlets and season them with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Let it rest in your fridge for at least an hour to allow those delicious flavors to seep into the meat.

Step 2: Make the Seasoned Flour Mixture

In a medium bowl, beat together 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of onion powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 2 teaspoons of pepper. This is our seasoned flour mixture that we’ll use to coat our chicken.

Step 3: Bread the Chicken

Take each piece of chicken and coat them evenly with the seasoned flour mixture. Shake off any excess flour and set them aside on a plate.

Step 4: Heat Up the Shortening

We need to heat up some shortening now — enough to fill a skillet about 1/2 inch deep. Heat it over medium-high heat until it reaches about 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 5: Fry the Chicken

Fry each piece of chicken for about 7-8 minutes per side, or until they’re golden brown and fully cooked. Make sure you don’t overcrowd the skillet — fry them in batches if needed.

Step 6: Make the Southern Gravy

While your fried chicken is cooling down, let’s make the gravy! In a separate pan, melt 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour to create a roux (a thickener for sauces). Whisk constantly for about 2-3 minutes, or until it’s lightly browned.

Slowly add 2 cups of whole milk and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper to the pan, whisking continuously until the mixture starts to thicken. Add more milk if the gravy is too thick for your liking.

Step 7: Serve and Enjoy!

And there you have it, folks! Serve your delicious Southern Fried Chicken with the creamy Southern Gravy, a side of buttery biscuits or mashed potatoes, and/or roasted broccoli. Enjoy this classic Southern dish with your family and friends!

Substitutions and Variations

 Biscuits and gravy have met their match with this chicken and gravy combo.
Biscuits and gravy have met their match with this chicken and gravy combo.

Southern Fried Chicken is a classic dish that can be adapted in many different ways. Here are some variations and substitutions you could try to give your Southern Fried Chicken its own unique character:

– Spicy Southern Fried Chicken: If you like it hot, add a couple of tablespoons of hot sauce to your seasoned flour mixture.

– Buttermilk Fried Chicken: For an extra juicy and tender chicken, soak the chicken pieces overnight in buttermilk before coating them with flour.

– Gluten-free Fried Chicken: Swap out all-purpose flour for cornstarch or gluten-free flour. Make sure to use gluten-free breadcrumbs or crushed rice cereal instead of Panko breadcrumbs.

– Boneless Fried Chicken: Use chicken cutlets instead of bone-in chicken to make this recipe quicker and easier.

– Chicken Steak Recipe: Cut the chicken breasts into thin steaks then season them with salt and pepper. Coat them in the seasoned flour mixture and fry until golden brown to make delicious chicken steak recipe.

– Mashed Potato as Side: Serve your Southern Fried Chicken with creamy mashed potatoes and roast broccoli as sides for a complete meal.

– Cube Steak Instead of Chicken: Swap out the chicken pieces for cube steak to make a classic country fried steak recipe.

Whatever variation you choose, traditional brown gravy or white gravy can be made from the pan drippings from the fried chicken. Pour it over the top or serve it on the side for dipping.

Serving and Pairing

 The crunch of the chicken breading will make your taste buds sing.
The crunch of the chicken breading will make your taste buds sing.

When it comes to serving southern fried chicken with country gravy, there are a few classic dishes that just go hand-in-hand. Of course, you can never go wrong with classic sides like mashed potatoes and buttered biscuits. These carb-filled accompaniments perfectly complement the crispy texture of the chicken and savory depth of the gravy.

If you’re looking to lighten things up a bit, try serving your fried chicken on top of a fresh green salad or alongside roasted broccoli for an added dose of greens. Alternatively, you can opt for a more indulgent pairing and serve your chicken with steak fries or cheesy grits.

If you want to take things up a notch, consider elevating your plating presentation by adding some fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme to garnish the dish. You can also experiment with different types of hot sauces or dressings to add an extra kick to your meal.

With its hearty and comforting nature, southern fried chicken with rich country gravy is the ultimate comfort food that pairs well with many different side dishes. So, fire up your fryer and get ready to serve up some down-home deliciousness!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This Southern classic just got an upgrade with a homemade gravy.
This Southern classic just got an upgrade with a homemade gravy.

Now, let’s talk about what to do after you’ve made your delicious Southern Fried Chicken and Gravy. If you happen to have leftovers or just want to prepare this dish ahead of time, there are some things to consider.

Make-Ahead: The best way to make this recipe ahead of time is to prepare the chicken and the gravy separately. Store them in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to serve, reheat the chicken and gravy separately on low heat. You can also freeze the cooked chicken for up to a month, but keep in mind that reheating it may lose some of its crispiness.

Storing: If you happen to have any leftovers, you can store them in the fridge for up to 3 days. Make sure that you store the chicken and the gravy separately in airtight containers. However, keep in mind that reheating again may cause the chicken to become soggy.

Reheating: To reheat the chicken, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and place the chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until heated through and crispy again. The gravy can be reheated on low heat on a stovetop or microwave using low power, stirring occasionally until heated through.

Overall, remember that over-heating and storing fried foods can lead them become greasy and lose their texture so it is important that you follow these steps carefully otherwise your meal may not taste as good as when it was served fresh out of your kitchen.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The only thing missing is a side of mac and cheese to complete this Southern feast.
The only thing missing is a side of mac and cheese to complete this Southern feast.

Now that we have gone through the main steps of this Southern fried chicken and gravy recipe, it’s time to talk about some tips and tricks to achieve a perfect result. These tips are derived from my experience as a chef and my love for Southern cuisine.

Firstly, it’s important to make sure your chicken is dry before coating it in seasoned flour. Moisture on your chicken can cause the coating to not adhere properly, resulting in a less crispy texture. Use paper towels to pat your chicken pieces dry before moving onto breading.

Secondly, make sure your oil is hot enough before frying the chicken. I always aim for a temperature between 350-375°F. If the oil is too cold, the chicken will absorb too much oil and be greasy. If the oil is too hot, the coating can burn before the chicken is cooked through.

Thirdly, use a wire rack to let your fried chicken rest after frying. Putting your chicken straight onto a plate can cause it to become soggy due to the moisture buildup.

Fourthly, when making the gravy, it’s crucial to add the flour slowly while whisking constantly. This helps prevent lumps from forming in the gravy.

Fifthly, if you prefer a thicker gravy, add more flour or reduce more of the liquid. On the other hand, if you want a thinner gravy to pour easily over sides like mashed potatoes or biscuits put then add more milk or water.

Lastly, don’t rush the process! Take your time with each step of this recipe to yield delicious results. Patience is key when cooking Southern food – that’s what gives it that deep flavor that we all crave.

With these tips in mind, you’re ready to create a flavorful and crispy Southern fried chicken with country gravy that’ll impress everyone at your dinner table!


And now it’s time for the FAQs section. I understand that you may have some burning questions about this recipe that need answering, so without further ado, let’s dive right in.

What is the difference between fried chicken and Southern fried chicken?

Southern-style fried chicken is a beloved dish made by coating chicken pieces in a seasoned batter or flour before cooking. This cooking process results in a crispy outer layer while keeping the meat moist and flavorful. The breading serves to enhance the texture and flavor of the chicken, making it a popular and delicious meal.

What is Southern gravy made of?

When it comes to Southern gravy, it’s all about the combination of savory flavors and creamy texture. This popular white gravy is typically made with pan drippings from meats like bacon, sausage, or poultry, as well as flour, whole milk, salt, and pepper. The end result is a deliciously satisfying spread that pairs perfectly with traditional Southern dishes.

How is KFC gravy made?

One of the secret ingredients for the delicious dressing of this southern-style cuisine is something called “crackling,” which is made from the leftover chicken scraps and juices found at the bottom of the fryers. According to the recipe creator, the gravy is made by mixing two scoops of crackling with 3.5 liters of water. This unique combination of ingredients adds an irresistible flavor to the dish.

How to make Paula Deen’s fried chicken?

Let’s start by whipping up a batch of seasoning, which will add a kick of flavor to our dish. Combine the spices and herbs in a bowl and store them in an airtight container for future use.

Next, it’s time to prepare the chicken. Beat some eggs with water in a medium-sized bowl, creating a pool for our chicken to dive into. In another bowl, mix flour and pepper, creating a sandy shore for our chicken to roll around in.

Now comes the fun part: the chicken dip! Take your chicken and coat it in the egg mixture, making sure it’s fully coated. Then, transfer it to the flour mixture, covering it completely with the sandy mixture.

Get out your deep pot, fill it with oil, and heat it up to 300 degrees. When it’s hot and sizzling, it’s time to add in our chicken. Fry the chicken in the oil until it turns a beautiful, crispy brown.

And there you have it, folks: a perfectly fried, southern-style chicken dish that is sure to impress your taste buds.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Southern Fried Chicken and Gravy is a delicious and classic recipe that you need to try. With crispy fried chicken and creamy gravy made with pan drippings, this dish is sure to become a family favorite. I hope my detailed instructions, tips, and recommendations have inspired you to give it a try.

Remember to season your chicken generously with salt and pepper before frying it. Use shortening for the best results, and don’t forget to make a slurry with flour and water to thicken your gravy. You can even add some cayenne pepper or hot sauce for an extra kick.

You can serve this dish with mashed potatoes or biscuits, or even make a chicken steak recipe by pounding out chicken cutlets and pan-frying them. And if you have leftovers, the chicken and gravy taste just as good the next day.

So why not add Southern Fried Chicken and Gravy to your dinner rotation? It’s a comforting and satisfying meal that will transport you straight to the South. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Southern Fried Chicken and Gravy

Southern Fried Chicken and Gravy Recipe

I found this recipe years ago in a magazine. Not sure which one.Doesn't not include time for the overnight sitting or for preparing the gravy. When I put the water in I keep the lid in my hand to put it on the skillet immediately so I don't get burned.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 530.9 kcal


  • 1 (3 lb) chicken
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • shortening, for frying
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 tablespoons chicken pan drippings
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


  • Lay chicken pieces in a shallow baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with salt.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Next day pour off all the accumulated juices.
  • Pat chicken dry with paper toweling.
  • Sprinkle chicken with pepper and roll in flour.
  • Melt shortening 1 inch deep in skillet.
  • Cook chicken 30 minutes on each side or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  • Add water.
  • Put on skillet lid and let stand until fat stops sputtering.
  • Drain on paper towel.
  • Gravy:
  • In skillet put chicken grease, 1/4 cup flour.
  • Stir until flour is brown.
  • Add 2 cups water, salt, and pepper.
  • Heat and stir slowly until gravy thickens.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 489gCalories: 530.9kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 40.9gFat: 31.4gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 155.2mgSodium: 1601.3mgFiber: 0.7gSugar: 0.1g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Chicken, Meat, Poultry, Whole Chicken
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